Therese barging in for a second to introduce you to our newest regular contributor here at WU: Scrivener guru Gwen Hernandez. I am so excited to have Gwen here to help us all understand Scrivener better, and I admit to some selfishness here as I still have not wrapped my brain entirely around Scrivener, still feel confused and a little intimidated by it. With me? Then help me to welcome her into the fold. And if you’re already a Scrivener-devotee, please add your thoughts to comments: Why does Scrivener trump other options for you? Welcome, Gwen!
If writing tools were teachers, your word processor would be the one who admonishes you to color within the lines and always use green for grass. Scrivener would be the cool teacher who encourages you to draw your own picture and praises your purple sun.
~ From Scrivener For Dummies
For fifteen years, I was a word processor power user. I was certified as a specialist by the software company, I taught classes on the topic, I created indexes, I performed mail merges… I used it for business letters, term papers, memos, technical manuals, and even a graduate thesis.
But when I got serious about writing, I grew seriously frustrated with my word processor’s limitations.
And then a friend told me about this writing software called Scrivener. I checked it out and was so impressed I didn’t even wait for the free trial to expire. I paid for it on day three.
Why? Because Scrivener is designed to support the creative process from top to bottom (or side to side, if you prefer). What exactly is it? Imagine the love child of a word processor, an accordion file, a photo album, and a cork board, with a few twists. It lets you keep everything related to your manuscript in one place, right alongside your writing, for easy access.
Yes, like any new-to-you software, there’s a learning curve. It looks so different from anything you’re used to, that some people need a while to retrain their brain. Others “get it” the first time they fire it up. I think Scrivener is worth taking a few hours to get comfortable with, because it supports your writing process—whatever that is, whether plotter or pantser or something else—in a way that a typical word processor can’t.
I use it to write fiction and nonfiction, compose and organize blog posts, create and plan class lessons, and keep track of public appearances. I think it would also make a fabulous agent/editor submission tracker.
Here are some of the features I love most. [Read more…]